Friday, December 28, 2007

Jim Leyritz Started A Career In Something Other Than Sports

And that career is alcoholism...and it always has negative results....

Former Major League Baseball player Jim Leyritz was arrested Friday on charges of driving under the influence and killing another driver after his vehicle crashed into hers.

Leyritz, who turned 44 on Thursday, faces charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage, said Detective Kathy Collins, Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman.

Jim Leyritz


He posted the $11,000 bond and was released from the Broward County jail at 2:35 p.m. on Friday, according to Keyla Concepcion, a public information officer for the Broward Sheriff's Office.

It could not be determined whether Leyritz had an attorney.

Fort Lauderdale authorities got a call at 3:20 a.m. that a crash had occurred in the city's entertainment district, Collins said.

She said Leyritz was driving a 2006 Ford Expedition when he collided at an intersection with a 30-year-old woman driving a 2000 Mitsubishi. The woman was ejected from the car. She was critically injured and transported to the Broward General Medical Center, where she died, Collins said. Her identity was not immediately released.

Witnesses told police Leyritz, who lives in Plantation, Fla., had a red light.

Police believe alcohol was involved in the crash, though investigators are waiting for the results of blood alcohol tests, Collins said.

Leyritz refused a breathalyzer test, police said, according to Miami TV station WPLG, which first reported the story.

Leyritz bounced from team to team over his career, which ended in 2000 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But he built a reputation as a clutch postseason hitter.

With the New York Yankees trailing the Atlanta Braves 2-1 in the 1996 World Series, Leyritz hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to tie Game 4 at Atlanta. New York won the game and the series, starting a run of four championships in five seasons.

He played an even bigger role for the San Diego Padres in their run to the 1998 World Series, hitting four homers and driving in nine runs in series wins over the Houston Astros in the NLDS and the Braves in the NLCS.

During the 2007 season, Leyritz traveled with the Yankees as a beat reporter for 1050 ESPN New York.

Leyritz, who signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1985, played 11 seasons in the major leagues for six teams including the Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers. He was a career .264 hitter with 90 home runs and 387 RBIs in 903 career games, primarily as a catcher and infielder.

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